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OAKLAND ATHLETICS
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Acquired RHP Trey Cochran Gill from Seattle Mariners for RHP Evan Scribner. [12/8]

A 17th-round selection out of Auburn in 2014, Cochran-Gill's first professional season wasn't without hiccups, but he showed stuff that suggested he could pitch in the later innings at some point in his career. His fastball has loads of sink, but while that leads to groundballs, it costs him walks as he still doesn't have great command of it. His slider is also a pitch that can get swings and misses, and its hard bite makes it tough for hitters to lift. He's still learning to hone his delivery, and there's no third pitch to speak of at this point. It'd be surprising if he was a high-leverage reliever, but a durable middle-innings guy who can get the double play is solid value for an arm like Scribner. —Christopher Crawford

SEATTLE MARINERS
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Acquired RHP Evan Scribner from the Athletics for RHP Trey Cochran Gill. [12/8]

Scribner had a season straight out of the Edward Mujica playbook: He mixed a stellar strikeout-to-walk ratio (16:1, the third best all-time) with a bloated home run rate (2.1 per nine), leading to a 4.35 ERA in 60 innings before he was shut down in September with a torn lat. He sits in the low 90s with the four-seamer—a pitch responsible for nearly 73 percent of his home runs since 2013—while working in the slider and curve about half the time.

The Mariners are probably hoping a couple of adjustments (more breaking balls and more corners, perhaps), a regressing HR/FB rate, and pitcher-friendly Safeco can combine to turn Scribner into a legit late-inning specialist. Even if he falls short of high-leverage aspirations, he could add value in a lesser role. Anyway, Seattle, as part of their ongoing bullpen rebuild, seems likely to load up on other relief pitchers who have a chance of pitching in important spots between now and spring. —Dustin Palmateer

COLORADO ROCKIES
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Signed RHPs Chad Qualls and Jason Motte to two-year deals worth $6 million and $10 million. [12/8]

Say you're the Rockies. You need to restock your recently dismantled bullpen, but no self-respecting, in-demand free-agent reliever wants to pitch in your ballpark. Someone has to throw those innings for you, so what do you do? Evidently, you give odd, multi-year deals to middling veterans.

Qualls is the superior (and the older, at 37) of the two pitchers signed. He's also the better stylistic fit for Coors, since his sinker-slider pairing often results in extreme groundball percentages. He throws strikes and misses bats, and generally posts good strikeout-to-walk ratios (though his ERA fluctuates, as ERA tends to do). Besides his age, the main concerns here revolve around his proneness to home runs and left-handed hitters. Qualls' past late-inning experience will tempt the Rockies—who, frankly, lack many alternatives—to use him in an important role, but these days he's more of a middle reliever.

Motte, meanwhile, might be less than that. In his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, he showed reduced effectiveness and velocity. His fastball still shows some hop, yet it also led to a suboptimal combination of increased fly balls and reduced whiffs. Motte's delivery is as ugly as ever—a max-effort mess that combines chicken-wing-like arm action with a low and loose glove side—and his paper-thin repertoire leaves him susceptible to left-handed batters. He has a famous name and at one point he was pretty good, but there's seemingly no reason to think he'll ever return to that form again.

Even accepting that both contracts are financially trifling, and that the Rockies have to pay a sin tax for playing in Coors Field, it's hard to understand Colorado's motivation to make these deals. Yes, they need relievers, and yes, there's certainly something to be said about having a veteran presence or two around. But what was the rush? Were Qualls and Motte in great demand—to the extent that the second years became a given? Weird timing, weird deals, weird team. —R.J. Anderson

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Oleoay
12/09
Another issue with the Rockies deals is that neither Qualls nor Motte have a habit of throwing full innings. Why sign two ROOGYs when your pitching depth is already tested?

The Rockies, if anything, needed another lefty since they spent most of last year with only Friedrich available in the bullpen.